I finished up the new pattern I mentioned last week and hope you’ll enjoy reading the story of this interesting antique quilt and be inspired to make some Shipshewana Scraps of your own.
While at a Dear Jane retreat, friend and local antique dealer Rebecca Haarer brought over an antique quilt she wanted me to see. I had just finished my second fabric collection and the quilt was filled with a vast array of antique fabrics along with some wild and crazy patchwork. She knew it would be the perfect jumping off point for a collection of reproduction fabrics. She offered to sell me the quilt at an unbelievable price and it came home to live with me forever.
Hidden underneath the wonderfully scrappy patchwork is a layer of a golden brown homespun check that blends nicely with the back. Do you think the patchwork was added to “dress up” a plain ol’ comforter?
I drafted the blocks as close to the original quilt as possible while bringing a little order to a true “make do” quilt. I thought long and hard about the block size so the quilt wouldn’t be an overwhelming project to put together. I wanted you to be able to mix and match the blocks, maybe with some you already have and use leftover pieces from charm packs, jelly rolls, etc. Almost everything is rotary cut and can be machine pieced. There was a lot of math to check, double check and triple check on all 36 pages in the pattern. Okay, some of them are pictures of the antique quilt but you know what I mean.
I couldn’t resist the temptation to shuffle the blocks around a little trying to give the quilt a more balanced look. I wanted a more rectangular shape too so I added a border but made the top and bottom wider. It’s now the perfect size for a lap quilt.
I just had to take out what might have been some orphan blocks from another project and use only the scrap blocks. I rotated some of them which gives the block a whole new look. I have to admit I think I like this version the best and maybe I’ll use some of my Kaffe Fassett or 1930s scraps instead of 1800s repros when I start stitching. Wouldn’t that be fun?
The pattern also includes instructions for the vintage size blocks if you want to make a larger bed size quilt. There are also block illustrations you can use to make miniature blocks and because I had so much fun playing with layouts, fabrics, etc. I’m including my EQ7 project file so you can change sizes, fabrics and even add blocks like I did in this last quilt. Remember, you need to have the Electric Quilt software to open the EQ file. The rest of the pattern is in standard PDF format. You can always order a printed pattern too.